June 11, 2021

Wine & Food Pairing for a Father’s Day BBQ

Choosing a Father’s Day gift can be tough. This year, let’s ditch the socks and boring coffee mug and give Dad something the whole family can enjoy.

Each year, my sister and I take turns hosting our Father’s Day BBQ for the whole family. We’re not the greatest cooks but we have a couple of secrets up our sleeves that makes every Father’s Day BBQ a huge success.

The first is simple - be sure to have a selection of really great wines on hand AND make sure you know how to pair them correctly with the food you’re serving.

And here’s the other secret… Great wine doesn’t have to blow the budget. New Zealand produces some of the best value, world class wines around. In this blog I’ll share some of my favorites from a selection of small production, family estate New Zealand wineries that will make your Father’s Day BBQ one that the family never forgets!

Okay, let’s get started with these top tips on how to pair wines at your next BBQ so that you can WOW Dad (and the rest of the family)!

Tip 1: White most often means light(er)

In general, white wines such as The Darling Sauv Blanc, Squawking Magpie Counting Crows Chardonnay or Ceres Swansong Pinot Gris pair well with lighter dishes such as chicken, seafood or grilled veggies. Whereas a bold, full-bodied red like the Ostler Caroline’s Pinot Noir can enhance the flavor of dark meats (such as burgers, steaks, venison and lamb) as well as freshly grilled pizzas topped with salami or chorizo.

Certain types of grilled fish – such as a salmon fillet or a swordfish steak – work well with medium-bodied Pinot Noir like Brightwater from Nelson, or the Drumsara Pinot Noir from Central Otago.

Tip 2: Consider flavor characteristics

Food and wine that share similar flavor profiles typically go well together. For example, a salt-and-pepper steak tastes great with the peppery Clearview Cape Kidnappers Syrah. The classic apple characters in the Ostler Riesling make it the perfect match for lighter vegetarian dishes.

However you wouldn’t pair mild foods such as a piece of white fish with a full-bodied, flavorful wine as the wine will overpower the subtle flavors in the fish.

Tip 3: White before red

If you’re having more than one type of wine with a meal, keep this suggestion in mind: drink white wine before red and lighter wines before heavier ones to help your palate adjust.

Tip 4: Protein is best paired with drier wines

Dry wines like the MillsReef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon work best with high-protein foods such as steak and aged cheese. These wines are rich in tannins that help cleanse the palate of fats, making your wine a refreshing complement to your meal.

Okay, you’re set – time to start planning that Father’s Day BBQ to remember.